Ped­alling po­lice­men

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHITTAKER

They don’t have lights and sirens and they’ve only got two wheels but bikes are prov­ing ef­fec­tive for po­lice.

Last year of­fi­cers from the Auck­land Cen­tral Po­lice beat sec­tion started do­ing pa­trols on bi­cy­cles. The team usu­ally pa­trols the city cen­tre on foot. Bikes are a more com­mon ap­proach for po­lice over­seas, but not of­ten seen in New Zealand.

‘‘It was done quite qui­etly. The idea was that we wanted to test the ef­fec­tive­ness and the pub­lic re­ac­tion and work out some de­ploy­ment rules,’’ Auck­land Cen­tral Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Marty Brown says.

‘‘It means greater mo­bil­ity for beat staff. They can cover greater ground quicker be­cause they can go through car parks and things that you can’t do in a ve­hi­cle.

‘‘It’s an un­ex­pected mode of trans­port. It does give us an el­e­ment of sur­prise. We’ve had some good suc­cesses out of it be­cause of how quickly they can re­spond and we think the com­mu­nity like to see us out there.’’

But bikes are by no means about to take the place of the po­lice car. The bikes aren’t used at night or in bad weather so the pub­lic should see more of them over the com­ing sum­mer months.

The bikes have been made over with the same white, blue and yel­low che­quer­board pat­tern that is on po­lice cars. Po­lice uni­form has also been adapted to make it ap­pro­pri­ate for cy­cling. Of­fi­cers still need to wear their stab-proof vests, but their long pants have been swapped for shorts and their boots for cy­cling shoes.

The Rose­bank-Water­view Neigh­bour­hood Polic­ing Team is plan­ning to get on bikes as a way of bet­ter con­nect­ing with the com­mu­nity.

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